The dark side of Star Wars is a path through the prequel films in which many consider to be extremely painful to watch. Whether it’s the clunky dialogue, the wooden acting performances, the overly choreographed fight sequences, or annoying characters, it’s clear the prequels were a disappointment. This lead to a majority of the most passionate and dedicated fan base in the world to turn on Star Wars creator, George Lucas, who they once worshiped. For years, anyone and everyone involved with those films (with the exception of a few) were heavily criticized by fans fueled with so much hatred that it would make the dark side look more bad than evil.
Just recently, Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill shared his thoughts on the prequels, specifically one Jake Lloyd, who portrayed a young Anakin Skywalker in Episode I – The Phantom Menace:
“I couldn’t believe some of the things they wrote about the prequels, you know. I mean really, beyond ‘I didn’t like it’. I’m still angry about the way they treated Jake Lloyd. He was only ten years old, that boy, and he did exactly what George wanted him to do. Believe me, I understand clunky dialog.”
Thankfully, I don’t consider myself as a Star Wars fan who hated the prequels. In fact, they hold a special place in my heart for the joy they brought me as a child. Even if I hated those films, I’d still agree with Hamill. The actors in those films did exactly what Lucas asked him to do. After all, those films came during a time when Lucas was still viewed as the filmmaker who could do no wrong when it came to Star Wars. Producers on the films wouldn’t dare tell him no, nor disagree with him, and neither would a ten year old boy, who as far as he’s concerned, is living the dream.
The ironic thing about all of this is that now that Lucasfilm is under Disney, George Lucas is gone, and The Force Awakens released, I’ve found more and more Star Wars fans coming to appreciate the prequels for what they were. I’m willing to bet that some of those fans said terrible things about the prequels and Lloyd. In the end, what was said was said. Lloyd retired from acting in 2001,not saying it was because of the backlash he received on his Star Wars performance. However, if I were a ten year boy and came across some of those harsh remarks as an actor and a human being, it would especially hurt.
What do you think of Hamill’s comments? Did Jake Lloyd receive unnecessary criticism? What do you think about the prequels? Has your view changed over time? Let us know in the comments.